ellenkushner: (Audiobook Swordspoint)
 ...even though I really really want one (with Felicia Day as Katherine, of course!)!

A screenwriter friend in LA recently wrote me*:

A few days ago I was working with a friend (an A-list feature writer-producer, loves fantasy).  My first pitch to her was TPOTS.  She at once advised me to think television instead of movie.  This was strictly from the point of view of selling the idea to a feature studio.  "Their demographic is entirely male at this point," she said.  She also told me that right now fantasy is a much harder sell than science fiction.  (Again, for features.  This is not the case in TV at all.)  The feature people would have zero interest in a character-oriented fantasy about a girl; they'd far rather have action-oriented SF about a guy.  Even if you could sell them TPOTS, she said, it would become all about the guy teaching her swordplay.  Who would be played by Russell Crowe.  Who would then take over the movie and be given a female love interest, etc.

Aggghhhhh!!!!! (gigglesnort)

Yeah. A Riverside TV series FTW!

Glad we got that straight.

So until that Blessed Time, I'm afraid if you want the Dramatized Version of The Privilege of the Sword - you'll just have to listen to the Illuminated Audiobook!

*Our conversation, btw, was partly sparked by Justine Larbalestier's excellent recent blog post, No, I'm Not Dying For My Books to become Hollywood Movies. I concur.
ellenkushner: (*Simon van Alphen by Nicolaes Maes)
Private Romeo appears to be opening in NYC this week.

Watch the trailer.  It's perfectly decent, but your reaction may not be, ah, Office Safe....  

Here's today's NYTimes review - you should be all right with that.
ellenkushner: (TPOTS SmallBeerPress (Clouet))
We are so going to see this movie this week.  Maybe even today.
Michael York, Rutger Hauer & Charlotte Rampling . . . yes.  Doing Breugel, oh yes.
ellenkushner: (Latvian THOMAS)
Has everyone seen The Luttrell Psalter Film on YouTube?  Very useful and beautiful if you write (or read) pre-industrial fantasy/historical fiction with a rural setting . . . or just want pretty pictures of the English countryside, its flora & fauna.  A real sense of the textures of the land, and of the kind of work that went into sustaining people on it.

Oh, and there's a Luttrell Psalter Film website, explaining what they did, and why, and how!
ellenkushner: (DREYDL)
The Hedgies' First Chanukah:

 the hedgies' first chanukah 

We got home & candles lit a little late tonight, since my first night of Chanukah present - also my "I had to have 2 fillings and the dentist is right down the street from the highbrow movie theatre" treat - was the 5:00 showing of Undertow.  A wonderful film - part ghost story, all "yes they (the sweetly stunning Peruvian fisherman w/the pregnant wife, and the seriously cute artist) are truly gay for each other" . . . It's really well-constructed (just saw The Squid & the Whale, at last - what a tremendously SAD movie! - but I can't stop thinking about how well it was constructed, too - every minute counts, and means something that will matter by the end) - good-hearted and sexy and also about people in a closed society, which I'm a sucker for.  It plays fair with everyone. It touches on a lot of my favorite themes & templates - including class, disguise/identity, and myth - Oh, heck, you see why I worship Paul Witcover and of course [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman - I can never write coherently about things I really like.  I just don't have the patience.  People are lucky to get 25 words of blurbage out of me when I read mss.  Anyhow it's a lot more restrained than my books, but if you like them you'll probably like Undertow, too.

Anyhow-- the Hedgies.  They are admiring one of our several Chanukah menorahs (which I've been informed are now more correctly called Chanukiot (singular: Chanukiah) - well, excuuuuse me! when I was a kid, it was always the menorah, thank you very much).  Delia loves to buy them.  This one is pewter, and she got it for me the year I wrote my JONAH show for Sound & Spirit.  See, it's shaped like a Big Fish . . . and if you peer hard you can see Jonah all curled up inside. 
ellenkushner: (EK:  Twelfth Night)
A free late-night movie w/ a lychee martini at NYC's Rubin Museum is rapidly becoming my favorite Friday night date! The bar (with snacks) is hopping, the whole museum's open to wander beforehand.... Drinks are 2-for-1 from 6-8pm, including some very good wine.

Right now they're running the New Cosmic Cabaret Cinema Series in conjunction with a new exhibit, "Visions of the Cosmos." Which is how I got picked for:

RUBIN MUSEUM OF ART presents
CABARETCINEMA
Where Movies and Martinis Mix
Ellen Kushner introduces Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet"
Friday, March 12th, 9:30 p.m.

Free with a $7 Bar minimum
1968, Franco Zeffirelli, UK/Italy, 138 minutes
Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey play the star-crossed lovers: "When he shall die, cut him out into little stars... all the world will be in love with night, and pay no worship to the garish sun."

You can bet I'll have a lot to say. That movie changed my life. I can't wait to see it on a big screen again!

Upcoming films in the New Cosmic Cabaret Cinema Series:
***TONIGHT! our own [livejournal.com profile] scbutler S. C. Butler introduces It Came from Outer Space! ****Read more... )
ellenkushner: (*Simon van Alphen by Nicolaes Maes)
While trolling for Vampyr on YouTube, got the bright idea of looking for the Late Night B&W Movie of Lost Content, Tower of London (with former apt-mate, currently visiting). Not only is it just as good as we remembered, but check out them eyebrows!

Favorite line as ever: "He said he wanted malmsey!"

Accept no substitutes - particularly not the 1962 version with Karloff - so hilarious in 1939 as the Limping Henchman Mord (or is that "Maude"?) - as RIII. Not even.

"Vampyr"

Nov. 17th, 2009 05:06 pm
ellenkushner: (EK:  Twelfth Night)
This Friday night at 9:30, I'm introducing a film at the Rubin Museum of Art's pretty amazing Cabaret Cinema film series inspired by their current exhibit, Carl Jung's Red Book.

Perhaps this public forum is not the place to announce that I know absolutely nothing about Dreyer or German Expressionist Cinema - or even much about Carl Jung . . . I can vamp on Vampires some, but for now I'm, ah, looking for inspiration, insight, and a few good factoids (besides those easily found on Wiki). Anyone?

Here is a very cool flyer about the event.

If you're around, you should come! There's a bar, and free gallery admission, and a scary movie - and me!
ellenkushner: (NYC: RSD)
Just watched "At Home in Utopia" on PBS' "Independent Lens" & was really blown away! More than just a documentary about workers' housing in the Bronx, it's a perfect bite of 20c American history: immigrants, their children, their dreams, the Depression, the War - which united Americans as one people at a time of fragmentation - the Commie witch hunt, and race relations. (Plus, the footage of the guy's mom in her Bronx kitchen looked exactly like my Gramma Rose in hers - same body language, same stuff on the wall....)

It's airing this week (probably repeating tonight) on your public TV station. Record it! Watch it!
You can check local listings & see a preview here.

The filmmaker, Michal Goldman, I knew slightly in Boston, and I really admire her work. Among her other documentaries is Umm Kulthum, A Voice Like Egypt, "about the diva of Arabic song and her country." I made the mistake of taking Delia to see it, and she bonded with Kulthum's dictum "never be late for something that won't wait for you" with the result that I have no leg to stand on when I don't want to leave for the aiport *quite* so early . . . .
ellenkushner: (NYC: RSD)
I am so glad to learn (via Karen Meisner, a.k.a. [livejournal.com profile] _stranger_here) that the unsatisfying ending to the Watchmen movie was not Moore & Co's original fault. No, it's a Giant Squid - as explained in this video, which had me laughing so hard I have tears rolling down my face. Not since "Springtime for Hitler" has the Fuhrer delivered such delightful entertainment. No, really.
ellenkushner: (NYC: RSD)
Mind, you, I had not intended to see "Watchmen" at all (you know how often I go to any movies) - but old college friend Peter Sanderson curated the display of art at MoCCA, and got us discount invitations to the benefit advance screening, so la la la we went.

I loved it!

At least, the first 2/3. After that, it kinda falls apart - not necessarily the movie's fault: I've never read the comic, but I get the sense wrapups are not his forte. I *loved* the soundtrack - good old period tunes by Dylan & Simon & Garfunkle et al that really managed to create a mood and comment on the action. We howled every time Nixon or Kissinger came on - I'm not sure most of the audience actually knew who they were . . . . do they actually know that Nixon served no third term? And when the ticking clock of nuclear terror occurred, well, cue the Philip Glass!

I will say no more, as I want to go catch my beloved Billy Crudup on Jon Stewart (he will play Richard St Vier before he gets too old! He will! He will!) - and besides, why spoil it for the rest of you?
ellenkushner: (EK/DS wedding band)
I thought it was just a joke - but I"m finding out in NYC how many of my Jewish friends take the ritual of going out for a movie & Chinese food on Christmas Day very seriously . . . . My cousin Paul, who's going to visit his son on his Junior (H.S.) year abroad in a small town in northern France (where young Jon has been living with the only Jewish family in town, and whooping it up as the Cool American Kid who plays drums) seems deeply distressed at the prospect (Eurovision + Foie Gras = just not the same, eh?) . . . . So for everyone who can't make it to the flix, or who just needs a little Holiday Cheer, I recommend the Simien Mountain Fox production of Elizabeth Wein's beautiful and twisted novel The Winter Prince (stills from the someday-to-be-made, ah, blockbuster).

We just watched the movie Casanova (2005) and found it utterly charming: fabulous costumes, sexist University lecturers, con games with multiple identities, girl with occasional sword, big keystone scene of Venetian masked ball with fireworks (and Georgette Heyer-like chase scene in which someone says, "We can escape on my barge!" and the director actually left in the bit where the horse-drawn actress mutters, "This is the last time I travel coach" . . . what's not to like? (And could I have that green dressing gown, please?)

Oh, and Geoff Ryman has a new short story up on Tor.com, "The Film-makers of Mars." Gorgeous.

And, behind my back, [livejournal.com profile] deliasherman has just posted a "review" of my Klezmer Nutcracker, and some stellar Advice to Young Writers.
ellenkushner: (Default)
I loved this movie, and so will you!

Watch for Julia Roberts in a cameo appearance as Diane, Duchess Tremontaine - OK, not quite: her character, Joanne, "the 6th richest woman in Texas," is referred to as "a woman with time on her hands who dabbles in politics" - exactly what Diane works hard not to appear to be. But the way Roberts plays her, as an older woman very secure in the privileges of her own power (and wealth) and status, one who does not think twice about using her sexual appeal to get men of power to do her outside work for her, or of using her charm and understanding of their weaknesses (and strengths) to create exactly the desired result (love that scene with Doc in the Afghan refugee camp!) and make them like it (and even think they thought of it themselves). . . well, it's pure Diane, and I love seeing it so well done. I sure learned something.

Now I just have to write a book for Philip Seymour Hoffman to star in. Or maybe I already have: the man can do anything.
ellenkushner: (Default)
Just saw John Sayles' movie Honeydripper at the Thalia, where it continues this week. If it's still playing by you, or you can get the video, see this one! It's about people, and music, and America, and tradition, and change, and people, and music. The perfect Ellen movie.

It's also got a keen mythic element, if you know how to look for it.

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